Filmmaker on the Stage

This is Laith al-Majali on this year’s Commencement stage, camera in hand.

Elon invited Laith to be the 2010 Commencement speaker — quite an honor considering that he earned his bachelor’s degree from Elon only five years ago.

Laith already has established himself as a premier photojournalist and filmmaker. He produced the Jordanian film “Captain Abu Raed,” which received the World Cinema Audience Award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Laith and I came to Elon at the same time, just weeks before 9/11, 2001. He came to Elon as the university’s first King Hussein of Jordan Scholar, and I came as founding dean of the School of Communications.

Laith quickly distinguished himself as a campus leader, and in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he served as a unifying voice during campus gatherings as the only Arab on campus. He was active in campus media and began producing film projects that led to his rapid ascent as a photojournalist and filmmaker.

In the School of Communications, we’re proud of the fact that Elon has selected a Cinema alum twice in the past three years as the undergraduate Commencement speaker. Doug Finberg, a 1994 Elon graduate who became senior vice president of international marketing for Paramount Pictures, spoke to 10,000 students, family members and faculty at the 2008 Commencement.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Alumni, Special Guests

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